As my mom will undoubtedly tell you, I’m a pretty much a Luddite. I was the last of my friends to get a cell phone, which happened sometime in 2001. I don’t have a Blackberry, iPhone, or Tivo, and I still listen to tapes in the car. In spite of this aversion to Things New, I am really appreciating the internets lately. What have they done, you ask? I’ll tell you.
1) I raised $78 for my local library, thanks to Jennifer Hubbard’s Library-Lovin’ Blog Challenge. Hard to imagine coordinating such an effort and disseminating the news over snail-mail. Harder still to imagine how much we’d actually raise. But somehow, with the clicking, it’s easy to do.
2) Because I wrote some thoughts on the School Library Journal’s Battle of the Books, I won a t-shirt from them. It will be the nerdiest piece of apparel I own, hands-down, which means it will become soon become well-loved.
3) This is the most embarrassing to admit I’m pleased about, but it’s a great story, so I have to tell it: I shared some good news on Twitter about how a judge ruled that a Mississippi high school student can attend the prom with her girlfriend. It got retweeted by someone with over a million followers and then retweeted in turn. I guess I’m embarrassed to report that I’m happy about my part of it because it’s not my story. The story belongs to an incredibly brave young woman who opened herself up to hatred in the name of progress. But I had a tiny bit of pride that I was the one who helped spread news to people who might not otherwise have heard it.
4) The Internet allows you to line up pinch-hitters for your honeymoon. Yes! From April 10-20, you will get treated to On the Scene with Nice and Mean, thoughts by writers/bloggers Micol Ostow, Irene Latham, Tami Lewis Brown, Margie Gelbwasser, Susan Robertson, and Emily Kristin Morse. (Sorry I’m not linking to you guys–my lunch break is already dwindling as it is.) I doubt they would have responded to a chain-letter requesting nice and mean tales for post-honeymoon reading! (NB, I didn’t get married over the weekend and not tell you. That happened in August. It’s a delayed ‘moon.)
5) Yep, I’m burying a lead, but anyway: the Internet will allow me to give away an ARC of Nice and Mean! Be one of the first to read it. Contest will take place April 5-9th, and will include lots of other Simon and Schuster books and Tenner swag. A marketer friend of mine pointed out recently how the internet makes it easier than ever to reach our niche market, and it’s true. Though I sometimes find all the self-promotion opportunities overwhelming, I would have had even less idea how to do it sans le net.
So–your turn. What’s your favorite thing the internet has done for you?